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Poster communications

Le cairn du Château d’Angers (Maine-et-Loire, IVe millénaire av. J.-C.) : quand un savoir-bâtir à sec en ardoise locale intègre un modèle architectural du ponant

Abstract : The evidence of a cairn discovered in 1997 in the enclosure of the famous Château d’Angers was evaluated in 2002 by the Inrap, before being excavated with difficulty the following year, in parallel with the development of the medieval remains of the fortress. Although it was quite flattened, buried and moth-eaten by the multi-millennial occupation of the site, which is now a tourist attraction, the exceptional funerary structure that was recognized also unexpectedly revealed itself to be of architectural as well as technological interest. According to the usual typo-chronology, based on the plan and the funerary furniture, this tomb with corridor and circular chambers functioned from the Middle Neolithic to the 3rd millennium. The very degraded character of the remains deprives it of its megalithic aspect, but it is far from being a simple pile of stones. Remarkable dry masonries in slate were recognized under the scree. The astonishing sub-metric dimension and multi-centimetre thinness of certain slabs of the internal facings of the chambers, as well as of the last level of paving of the central corridor, even denote an undeniable slate-making know-how. It thus seems that the architectural evolution of the cairn was accompanied by an improvement in the process of appropriating the mineral resources of the area and in the techniques for exploiting the slate for building. The analysis of the architecture of the monument was based on the expertise of the slates, which was conducted in situ on the preserved monument. Indeed, it was necessary to be able to identify what belonged to the original construction and what testified to the numerous subsequent alterations. Unfortunately, our technical knowledge of slate was as incomplete as the cairn’s construction. This deficiency was remedied by a comparative approach to the traditional slate-makers of the Anjou Noir region – a slate country if ever there was one – and, more generally, of northwestern France. While it is clear that the Neolithic builders of Angers were able to develop a local art of monumental dry construction with proximal slate, the architectural type of the tomb poses a problem, as it is more in keeping with the Atlantic than the continental model. Unless we consider that the location of the building on the edge of the Maine River, a likely axis for the circulation of polished jade axes between the Alps and the ocean, bears witness to another stream of influences… from itinerant builders, illustrated by the similarly greenish stone pendants of the late viaticum found in the richest sepulchral chamber. Is this hypothetical techno-cultural crossbreeding the work of a South Armorican people, not only avid for such lithic objects, otherwise more prestigious, but also experienced in dry-stone megalithism as we know it, since its “granite revolution” in the 5th millennium (Carnacan tumuli, cairns in the Morbihan Gulf)? So many fields of research that show the interest to push further the architectural studies of these monuments.
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Poster communications
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https://hal-inrap.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03434206
Contributor : Carine Carpentier Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Thursday, November 18, 2021 - 10:44:49 AM
Last modification on : Monday, November 22, 2021 - 10:15:26 AM

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  • HAL Id : hal-03434206, version 1

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Eric Gaumé, Cyril Marcigny. Le cairn du Château d’Angers (Maine-et-Loire, IVe millénaire av. J.-C.) : quand un savoir-bâtir à sec en ardoise locale intègre un modèle architectural du ponant. Inrap. Archéologie préventive sur le bâti : 5e séminaire scientifique et technique de l’Inrap, Oct 2021, L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, France. Archéologie préventive sur le bâti : 5e séminaire scientifique et technique de l’Inrap, 28-29 octobre 2021, L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, 2021. ⟨hal-03434206⟩

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